Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced that the second annual Robert Osborne Award, recognizing an individual who has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic film alive for future generations, will be presented to one of the world's premiere film preservationists, Kevin Brownlow. The award will be presented on April 13 before a screening of Brownlow’s directed film It Happened Here at the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival. The first Robert Osborne Award was given out at the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival to iconic filmmaker Martin Scorsese and will continue to be presented annually at the TCM Classic Film Festival.
Deeply respected and revered among his peers for his work in restoration of classic film, Brownlow is also a celebrated director, helming classics such as It Happened Here (1964) and Winstanley (1975) but Brownlow’s focus has remained documenting and preserving the silent film era. Brownlow founded Photoplay Productions to produce documentaries on film and revive such silent classics as A Woman of Affairs (1928), Sunrise (1927) and Napoleon (1927). The latter represented more than 25 years of work for Brownlow, who is still looking for ways to improve on Napoleon’s restoration. The 1980 premiere of the restored version of Napoleon brought Brownlow honors from the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the London Critics Circle. In 2010, Brownlow received an honorary Oscar for his work as a film preservationist.
“In a career spanning more than seven decades, Kevin has played an instrumental role in documenting the history of silent film and preserving and restoring more than 50 silent films,” said Ben Mankiewicz, TCM Primetime Anchor and Official Host of the TCM Classic Film Festival. “Kevin is truly the embodiment of what the Robert Osborne award signifies, helping ensure that classic film will continue to be experienced as it was meant to be seen for years to come.”
“Kevin Brownlow has been a friend to TCM since the network was founded, and his work to preserve classic film history for future generations is a cornerstone of what TCM and the Robert Osborne award represent,” said Charles Tabesh, senior vice president of programming, TCM. “We have shown Kevin’s documentaries and restorations on air many times before, but to be able to honor him at the TCM Classic Film Festival feels like the perfect way to honor a man who has worked tirelessly to ensure the legacy of classic film lives on.”
For more than 22 years, Robert Osborne served as the primetime host and anchor of TCM, helping millions of viewers discover and enter the world of classic movies, and dedicating his life to preserving and sharing the movies he loved. Embraced by fans around the globe as both a fellow movie lover and an unparalleled film historian, his legacy of devotion to classic films and their ability to inspire will live on through the Robert Osborne Award.
For a complete bio and more information on Kevin Brownlow, please visit: filmfestival.tcm.com.